Challenging Eckhart: Practice is necessary, as is clock time

Talk about anything Tolle-related here.
OnlyNow
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Post by OnlyNow » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:05 pm

Innerhike, your posts are interesting though not quite accurate regarding ET's views on techniques.

If I have read his books correctly he suggests various techniques to enter the state of 'presence' or the 'now'.

He calls these entry points 'portals'

His first technique is to enter the body, to feel the life in the body which in turn quietens the mind or ego which so often obscures 'presence'

His second technique is to be aware or just notice the 'stillness' the background to all that hppens.

The third is to surrender to this moment to allow this moment to be, as it is.

The difference I guess with his techniques is that they are instant, available to all, right now, any place and any where.
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Post by Webwanderer » Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:22 pm

Innerhike wrote:Some of the issues I have with the teachers of non-duality such as Eckhart, Papaji, Gangaji, Adyashanti, Krishnamurti, etc. are as follows:

1. They say "You are already That which you seek, therefore no amount of seeking or doing will take you there."

2. Another thing they say is that "Time is not necessary in this quest. Time is just a delay, a ploy of the ego to keep you entrapped in your story. You can do it right now."

3. Finally, the piece that gets me is when they say "No teacher is necessary. There is no path, no map, and no teaching that is going to take you to what you already are at this time."
Innerhike, I notice you made specific quotes in your three points. Are these indeed quotes, or are they paraphrased? You note 5 teachers and quote them as if they spoke in unison.
1. They say "You are already That which you seek, therefore no amount of seeking or doing will take you there."
This statement is universally true. Understand that Essential Identity is Awareness, so how does one seek awareness? Awareness goes where ever one chooses to seek. Seeking for truth in any outside venue takes one away from here (or appears to)where awareness is forever present.
2. Another thing they say is that "Time is not necessary in this quest. Time is just a delay, a ploy of the ego to keep you entrapped in your story. You can do it right now."
I take this to mean that the concept or belief that enlightenment or awakening will be found at some later time through diligent practice is to give time a sense of reality that is not true. All life, eternal life, is Now. Any chance of gaining clarity of Awareness can only be realized Now. Looking forward to better days and greater opportunities, is an invitation to focus in favor of some future potential reality, and in most cases does indeed entrap one in a story. You can do it now, it can only be realized now. There is indeed a sense of time from the minds perspective, but look from the perspective of thought free awareness and all time becomes now.
3. Finally, the piece that gets me is when they say "No teacher is necessary. There is no path, no map, and no teaching that is going to take you to what you already are at this time."
I agree that no teacher is necessary but that does not mean one is not helpful. The point is don't get hung up on a teacher as you will ultimately have to Be without one. There is no path, no map and no teaching that is going to take you there. Do not depend on them to do so. All of these things are just pointers. The warnings you listed are given to help you avoid distractions from the oppotunity this moment provides. It is you who will make the shift from mind based identity to Awareness free of identification.

Teachers and practices can be valuable, but freedom comes from clear alignment with Divine essence, it is the Natural State.

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Post by yougarksooo » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:51 pm

:)
Last edited by yougarksooo on Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by yougarksooo » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:56 pm

repeated and deleted
Last edited by yougarksooo on Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by yougarksooo » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:57 pm

I believe that it does take time and practice to stabilize in peace, to integrate the temporary openings or brief awakenings that one experiences. I submit to you that this is what Eckhart was doing in his "lost" years, as was Jesus. The Buddha did not come to enlightenment suddenly without practice. And as Ramana Maharshi said it can be safely assumed that those who reach enlightenment in this lifetime are ones who have completed their spiritual work/practice in previous lifetimes. I offer no proof to back these assertions, they are just something to ignite discussion.
It's true that life seems like one big search until we "wake up." I think what the teachers are saying is right on. They realize the search is just a game the mind plays. The mind has to peter out. Then something else comes in, call it self-realization or whatever, but it is a realization that the search itself was the "problem." It is the realization that any addition of time in order to find oneself is a step away from oneself.

It might be more helpful if teachers beat us over the head with a big stick. Instead, with love, they gently point to now. It's a way of saying, "you don't have to keep searching . . . ." But you can and that's fine too. It's just a part of it, as you say.
No matter what horizons one reaches, there may be even further horizons that are yet to be scaled.
This, in my experience, is just the mind's way of not wanting to completely dive into awareness and emptiness. It always sees an oasis out there, some other thing which needs to happen before it can be free. In this way, it creates its own obstacles.

Even if there are further horizons to be reached. To step in any direction away from this moment (where we are) is a step away.

How do we practice being who we are. How do we practice beingness. You may be referring to the fact that sometimes the shift is gradual. But it is almost a misperception to say the teacher is not accurate. What is really happening is there is a belief that the student places in the way of being present. He is not ready to empty himself of all attachments and identifications. Here, the belief may be that there are "further horizons yet to be scaled." What happens when you look at that thought directly? You see through it, right? You see it's just a thought. You can't know it to be absolutely true. You can see it as just a thought, which you can then let go of (or call it ego, whatever pointer works).

Then begin again in each moment looking at each thought. The moment you think you need something, are something, or know something, watch those thoughts too. In the end, you've given your whole self. There is nothing left. And you might just look back and say, "oh, the teacher was accurate. It only takes time if I put a belief that I need time in there to block myself from being awake now." A belief IS identification with form.

Apparently this is what Ramana meant when he said all you need to do to become self-realization is to take away the thought that you aren't self-realized.

It's a cruel little joke, isn't it? From your perspective, it looks as if the teacher is not being genuine or honest. In reality, they are trying to point to "it" as directly as possible.

Adya has a nice saying which applies to all methods: "Right before you sit down to meditate, ask yourself: is it true that peace is not already here?"
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by samadhi » Sat Jun 23, 2007 8:12 pm

I found innerhike's opening post very interesting because it spelt out a paradox i was struggling with. The crux of ET's teaching (i still find refering to Eckhart as 'ET' somewhat amusing, when I first arrived on the board i actually wondered why there were repeated mentions of aliens on the forum topics lol) is that we don't need time to be enlightened...

And I get that. But I also feel that regular, sustained practise is essential to get us to the point where we can easily disidentify from the mind and reach a state of presence. Only then does time fall away...

Reaching a state of presence doesnt come quite as easily as just clicking my fingers (at least not at this part of my journey). But I know that the more i practise meditation and breathing and inner body awareness as well as making the sustained effort to be present, the more easy and 'natural' being present is becoming. It's a matter of reaching the 'tipping point' when it'll be more easy to be present and disidentified with the mind than vice versa.

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Post by kiki » Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:51 am

Great post, yougarksooo. You said:
It might be more helpful if teachers beat us over the head with a big stick.
Some zen schools do that very thing.

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Post by Narz » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:29 am

I didn't read this whole thread but I read the original post and think what innerhike is saying is very important. If there was no need for time or for practice or for growth then we wouldn't have it.

I'll come back and read the rest later on (good thing I don't have to do it all now :lol: ).
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Post by Narz » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:21 am

By the way, I also want to add that I don't think Tolle or what's her name, oh yeah Byron Katie or anyone who had the whole "instant enlightenment" dealie is qualified to tell people how to practice to get enlightened/aware/inthenow, whathaveyou. Their technique seemed to be : (1) get really caught up in identification with ego, etc. (2) suffer so bad that eventually you wake up.

Since that's not really the path that any of us want to go down why would we look to those who took it for guidance? Comfort maybe, a sense that how we want to feel is possible but not guidance. I don't listen to Tolle because he's full of ideas but simply because I enjoy listening to him and it helps me relax, lose attachment sometimes. If you want practical practices to help you along, seek those. They are very important. It's ALOT easier to be in the moment when you're focused and on a path rather than laying on your motel room floor, sick to your stomach and in desperation for answers. Well, actually, not necessarily. Those moments when I'm at my worst I often do experience presense for a moment and feel better but it's usually short lived, after all what you are trying to escape from eventually must be faced. Being an addict or suffering deep psychological pain is the symptom not the disease, it is what you're running to, what you're running from. To face what you're running from, you need a plan. That's just the way it is. No human is without a plan, without practices. To try to give up all practices is to simply get suck with crummy ones for lack of attention.

Ironically & paradoxically the whole "presence" thing is not an instant-fix.
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Post by yougarksooo » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:32 am

I'll come back and read the rest later on (good thing I don't have to do it all now ).
Or you could just watch the thought that says "good thing I don't have to do it all now." That might be the only obstacle.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by Narz » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:54 am

yougarksooo wrote: Or you could just watch the thought that says "good thing I don't have to do it all now." That might be the only obstacle.
You can't do everything that needs to be done at once.

You can enjoy what you're doing in the moment, I think that's your point, but it's not the escape some people like to imagine it is. Everyone, save little children & animals, needs to plan for the future, it's impossible to escape this even if you're ultra rich.
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Post by yougarksooo » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:58 am

but it's not the escape some people like to imagine it is.
You're right. It's not an escape. It is facing everything as it is. The pain, the pleasure, the sadness, the elation---everything. All other "things" including a lot of what people characterize as planning are the escape mechanisms. In my experience, true planning takes very little effort and is mostly done in the now anyway. Most of the other "planning" is more like fantasizing, projecting and other egoic stuff. Dreamland.

Most other teachings which tell you that you need time in order to be liberated are themselves escape mechanisms. They send us chasing after some illusory "me" in the future, which we never find. In that sense, this chase is the ultimate avoidance strategy. It is designed to keep us from seeing who we really are in this moment. To keep us from seeing the peace that is already here. Presence is looking at everything squarely in the face. Instead of telling stories about how one day we will be free, we can look at what is keeping us from being free right now. Fully face it and move on.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by Finbarr » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:31 pm

The Power of Now is a paradox in that it is both highly advanced metaphysical instruction and basic metaphysical instruction. It is the easiest thing in the world and also the hardest. I think practising spiritual disciplines is essential until you reach the point where you outgrow the practice. The bike stabilizer analogy is wonderful. Another useful analogy is that when your learning to play the piano, you start with scales and various other drills. You then move onto more complex pieces until one day, you discard all you've learned and become a virtuoso where you go with the flow in the moment. To sum up, in my opinion : practice, practice, practice...

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Post by yougarksooo » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:36 pm

practice, practice, practice...
I certainly practiced...diligently. I made becoming present my number one priority. And it worked. However, now that presence has come in, I realize that the only reason the practice was necessary is because I had a whole bunch of beliefs lodged in my head about how it takes time to be me. These beliefs were the obstacles, nothing else. So the teacher was accurate who said "you don't need time." That is just a pointer which says, "be present." So we continually come back to the present moment (practice) until we are back to our natural state of being (presence).

I'm very thankful that these teachers didn't say, "just keep practicing and one day you will be present." Instead, that pointed directly at the truth and said, "it's right here. See it." The only point of access to who I really am is right now.

:)

Thanks, I've truly enjoyed this thread. And i think it is important stuff. I also know that there simply is no right or wrong. Whatever works, do it. In the end, life is the only real teacher.
"When people ask me who they are or who God is, I smile inside and whisper to the light: there you go again . . . pretending."

Adya

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Post by kiki » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:04 pm

Great post, yougarksooo, especially this:
now that presence has come in, I realize that the only reason the practice was necessary is because I had a whole bunch of beliefs lodged in my head about how it takes time to be me.
When you learn to get out of your own way it all becomes so obvious. It's ironic how one's practice can lead to the realization that practice isn't necessary in the truest sense, and practices seem to be needed for this to happen - what a joke we play on ourselves. So, enjoy your practice and then laugh at yourself when the joke is revealed. :wink:

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